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A Giveaway To Say Thank You

Over the Christmas and New Year break I noticed that the number of subscribers to my little ole blog have ticked over the 100 mark. Wowee that’s awesome! Thanks so…

Teaching Challenges Giveaway

Over the Christmas and New Year break I noticed that the number of subscribers to my little ole blog have ticked over the 100 mark.

Wowee that’s awesome! Thanks so much for taking the time to subscribe to Top Notch Teaching and I’m so glad that you’re here. I thought this was definitely cause for celebration….and so I’m having my first giveaway.

This is a really easy giveaway, you don’t need to go off and follow things, or blog about it… just need to answer one simple question. If you’re one of the lucky winners, you will be able to pick any item from my Teachers Pay Teachers store as your prize.

The question you need to answer to enter is:

For you, what is the most challenging part of being a teacher?

To enter, simply answer the question above in the comments below.

This giveaway is open for one week, so that means it will close on Thursday 17th January, 6pmWST.

I will choose my 5 favourite responses, and those 5 people will be the winners. I will announce the winners here on Top Notch Teaching on Friday 18th January as well as notify the winners by email.

Thanks again for being here and I’m looking forward to reading all about your teaching challenges.


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  1. Alison

    Hi Mel,

    I definitely say “Always wanting to do so much and never having enough time!” – I always feel that no matter what I do, I never get to the end of the list!


  2. MrHughes


    When I read your question a lot of thoughts flooded my mind. The MOST challenging is tough to pick out. However, the part that gives me the most grief, the most trouble, is wanting so much to help students that don’t want to help themselves. I teach 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and many have difficult circumstances.

    I am trying to hard to help them see that they can “rise above” these trials and be what they want to be. I hope that I can be successful in my quest.

    So yeah… that’s my 2 cents.

    An Educator’s Life

  3. Rachel

    The most challenging part of being a teacher is trying to ensure that I give each student the attention he/she needs to succeed in class.

  4. Janine

    The most challenging part of teaching for would have to be dealing with parents. I am really tired of some of the parents feeling that they or their children are entitled to everything. Thank goodness I have a supportive administration!

  5. Ashley

    I teach in a combined classroom of kindergarten through fourth grade. For me, the most challenging part of being a teacher is coming up with activities to meet the five different grade levels’ needs.

  6. Brooke

    I think that the hardest thing is letting things go. You meet kids that have such a rough time at home and sometimes you can’t help but take their problems home.

    Great job on the 100 Mel


  7. Rebecca

    Differentiation….meeting all levels, all needs for all classes!

    Truly enjoy your site. I have used several ideas in my classes in just the short time I’ve joined!

    home + school = success

  8. Tania Poultney

    Congratulations on 100 followers Mel.
    I agree with Brooke however I also think the most challenging thing about teaching for me is getting the balance of behaviour management and optimal learning right. Having taught in some very challenging areas, behaviour management has been a focus for me and often for some students this needs to be in place before learning will happen for them, it goes hand in hand for some students. Also making sure that other students are recognised for their achievements and always maintaining the expectations for appropriate behaviour is something I need to remind myself to do.


  9. Kelly Brown

    I would have to say never having enough time to get everything done! Working with parents to help them know how to help their child is a bit challenging as well.

  10. wendy mccarty

    The most challenging part of teaching is remembering you can’t raise them, just educate them. I teach a small tutoring class two afternoons wa week. We meet for about 1 1/2 hrs. Today after class, one of my Hmong girls was not picked up. We talked outside for about a 1/2 hr. I called the 2 phone numers I had. Both were disconnected. Then I called an aunt, who said “NO” she would not pick her neice up. This poor little girl didn’t know who was picking her up, or where she was to go. She said ” no one really cares,” …I told her I care! Luckily, her older brother happened to stop by ( coincidence). He didn’t even know she was there! I just want to take her home…BUT I am her teacher, not her mother. You can love them & educate them….but you cannot raise them. They go on without us. I sometimes have to remove myself from them emotionally for a while. I love my job, but sometimes…..

  11. Cindy Winkler

    Right now the hardest part of teaching is to teach using common core and trying to follow the school system curriculum. Every week when we have faculty meetings something else is put on our plate. It is very hard to work it all in. To top it off our city schools with be joining with our county schools and we don’t know what will happen when this occurs. I love my kids and teaching, but the paper work is overwhelming!

  12. Melissa

    First, thank you for this giveaway. Congratulations on reaching the milestone. All of the responses are valid challenges for anyone but I think that the most challenging would be the feeling that I might have not done enough to help every single child progress. There are those that struggle and are behind coming in; I feel awful when I work so hard and they are still struggling for whatever reason. Parents are a big factor also. It is a hard act to balance parents and students. We rely on home to pick up the slack but there a lot of parents that feel it should all be done at school or just do not have hours in the day. There just isn’t enough time to get it all in. But one thing is for sure–we should never, ever give up on any one of them.

  13. Jennifer Speer

    Wow, that is a great (and challenging) question! I agree that several things come to my mind. I live in Indiana and public education is viewed as public enemy #1 thanks to former Gov. Mitch Daniels and former state education superintendent Tony Bennett. Another hardship has been the school corporation where I am employed as a kindergarten teacher. Our school board and administration are also very unsupportive and many times we feel as if we are just taking care of ourselves and our students on our own. We are in a huge money bind (to the point we have no teaching assistants at all anymore and a cleaning company that does a very poor job instead of the janitors that took such wonderful care of us and our students!) On top of all of this I am to make sure my kindergarten children are reading (and meeting many other common core standards) when many come to me and can barely write their name. Then there is always the issue that I bring my “work” home with me, be it planning, cutting things out, or worrying about a student’s problems of one sort or another. It’s hard to come home and change gears into wife/mom.
    But as I look over this list and know the stress it brings, there are so many joys as well! I am so lucky to work with a talented team of women teaching kindergarten with me. Not only are they terrific teachers, but great friends as well! Even though my job takes lots of my time during the school year, my family is always supportive and will help out anyway they can! I am also lucky to live in an era with blogs, Pinterest, etc… where other wonderful teachers are willing to share their talents and ideas (especially for free at times:). But the very best part of my job is my students! I have 20 of the best little people with me each day and I cannot be thankful enough for each one of them! They make going to work each day fun and I love to watch them learn and grow. I also love to see the joy and pride they have when they learn to do something for themselves (such as learn to read). It takes great parents to have such wonderful children, and this year I am so lucky to have MANY great parents willing to help out in one way or another. I even have at least one parent coming in each day to help out-and since I do not have an aide that is a huge blessing!
    The past two years were very tough and I was ready to quit teaching! But when I stopped to think about all the wonderful parts of my job, I just could not find anything else I could see myself doing. Sorry this is such a long response, but thanks for letting me share. Thanks also to all the great teachers out there who make a difference not only for the students, but also for other teachers as well!

  14. Teacher Kirra

    The bureaucracy 🙁 If you can get a good management team, then the teaching flows uninterrupted!

  15. Andrea M. Bentley

    Hi Mel! 100 Followers is a great milestone! Congratulations!

    As educators, we are faced with many highs and lows. While I tend to focus more on the highs, the lows simply make my job a little more stressful. If I had to choose the hardest part of my job, it would be trying to find ways to keep my students motivated. I have never had this problem until the past two years. It seems that the students we have at our grade levels the past two years have lacked some serious motivation and work ethic. I want my students to dig deep and really understand the concepts, succeed, and go to the next grade more prepared than the next year’s teacher expects. I have used many incentive programs…those worked at first, but then the students lost interest. At it is different for each class. I have six classes that come through each day, so knowing what tactic to use with them is important.


  16. Realistic Teacher

    Congratulations on reaching 100 followers – that is a wonderful milestone!!

    The hardest part of educating is all of the paperwork that goes along with it. I love creating activities and lessons that inspire my students and spark their curiosity, but when there is so much paperwork that has to be done it makes it hard to find the time. So, I guess time would also be considered one of the constraints of education. But, in my opinion, the hardest part is the paperwork. Yuck – there are a million things I would rather do with my time that I think are much more beneficial to students! 🙂

  17. Nicole

    I struggle with balancing a need for structure and a calm classroom while at the same time letting each child know that I love and care for them not just as a learner but as an individual. I wish I had more time to listen to their stories. I wish I had more time to laugh and enjoy them being children without the pressure of a standardized test hanging over my head.

  18. Tama Trotti

    What a great giveaway and congrats on 100 followers! One of the most challenging parts for me is meeting all the needs of the different levels of
    students. I have children that come from all over the world, many non-English speakers. I am always looking for ways to help and challenge the students in my class and it is not easy. Then I also have the parents who don’t always speak English very well so it’s not easy for them to help their children. I rely a lot on TPT and Pinterest for differentiated activities to try and reach everyone – but it is not always the case to be able to reach all students, unfortunately.

  19. Leah

    The most challenging thing about being an EA (especially a relief one) is working out the best way to help each individual child. Trying to find out a child’s learning style, interests and strengths, so that you can help them in the best way possible. Whilst I have found that the most challenging, it can also be very rewarding once you do work that stuff out, and manage to really help them understand what you’re teaching them.

    Congrats on 100, you’ve done so well. Your website is great, even as an EA there is a lot of ideas I can use on here.


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